Skip to main content

Grateful Dead Live at The Matrix on 1968-10-30

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at The Matrix on 1968-10-30

Publication date 1968-10-30 (check for other copies)
Topics Live concert
Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Dark Star Jam -> Death Letter Blues, Other One Jam, Saint Stephen Jam, Jam -> Lovelight Jam, Jam -> Eleven Jam -> Death Don't Have No Mercy -> Jam, Prisoner Blues*, Jam, Dark Star Jam


most complete version; documented 1st gen reel on revox A-77 r2r deck> digitized @ 96khz/24 bits> downsampled to 44.1k/16bits for CD> EAC> SHN; transfer by Jim Wise; eac/shn by Darrin Sacks;

Show billed as "Mickey and the Heartbeats".
Bobby and Pigpen were absent.
* Contains Clementine hints.
** With Elvin Bishop


Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 30, 2013
Subject: Mickey & the Hartbeats
Mislabels galore on this one; some of the comments on db.etree's listing for this show sort some of that out. The rest are obvious. There are a bunch of tracks on here that are rather expendable - tunings, the St. Stephen Jam that has no business being in the middle of the Other One, etc. Oh, and Elvin's "Prisoner Blues" - Elvin's a great guitar player, but that guy can't sing worth beans.

The good stuff: relatively clean, pristine sound quality (just listen to that closing DS Jam!), Jack Casady on a track or two (again, that last jam sounds like Jack...), and track #13 is actually a very lovely Clementine Jam. As Jerry says, they're just screwing around. This isn't a "show". But there's some good stuff here. Strange to Jerry play a '68 Dark Star without that familiarly silly Pigpen bit (ba-da-dum, ba-da-dum, ba-dum... - you know the one).
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 26, 2013
Subject: Overrated
These Hartbeats shows have never done a damn thing for me. Like others have said there's just something missing, both literally (Bob and Pig), and figuratively (i.e. there's just no x-factor or stickiness to the playing). Oh well.
Reviewer: murphbass - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2012
Subject: Jack
Definitely Jack Casady for the second half of the set. First set Phil? or Jack?

Jack's approach suggests that if he's not going to execute a line, he'll jump ship and put his energy into landing solid on the ONE whereas Phil frequently ignores this traditional bassist role. That being said, there are rare spots in this show where Jack 'hiccups,' only to catch himself. It's his groove mechanism malfunctioning; when he senses the groove dissolving, there's a hasty knee-jerk reaction. Phil's playing is much more flow-oriented; he doesn't ever really breach the groove, but he also doesn't emphatically state it, either.

Dark Star Jam is great, if for no other reason than Casady's solo flights. While Jack and Phil's tones are similar (at least partially attributable to Wickersham and Turner's diligence, no doubt), their voices are distinctly their own.

I can't believe that such fidelity recordings are readily available. Thank goodness for Archive and its bounty!
Reviewer: piIgrim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 23, 2011
Subject: Phil or Jack?
If this really is Jack Cassidy, he was pretty bad ass at playing Grateful Dead songs.
Who ever is playing doesn't matter. This show is 5 stars all the way.
Reviewer: CRAXYFINGERS - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 7, 2011
Subject: Casady
This is Jack,not Phil. Although I love Jack, He is not as fluid as Phil
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 16, 2010
Subject: In between gigs
This is historically interesting, but not a great Dead show. Not really a Dead show, with only half the band there. This, and the other Matrix shows were mostly rehearsals and a place to try out new riffs. (Jerry calls them “goofing” in this and some of the others). This doesn’t compare to the many outstanding shows of 1968, such as the excellent show on October 20 (go check it out), some of the August shows, and the great spring shows.

The first Dark Star jam and Death Don’t Have not Mercy are the highlights here. (But listen to the Dark Star of Oct. 20.) Death Letter Blues is also good, similar to some of the 1966 material. The rest of this recording is less interesting. Some of is dull.

Track 11 is a sort of Clementine Jam, which they had played briefly at the being on the year.

There are interesting bits in this, sandwiched in between a some repetitive and not particular inspired material. Basically, it’s a rehearsal in front of a live audience without Bob and Pigpen.
Reviewer: biglouie358 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 21, 2009
Subject: TWO Darkstars
Didn't Phil play on the first one and Jack on the second? Great Show!
Reviewer: halfdiminished - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 2, 2007
Subject: Phil Your Face
some pretty heady jamming going on here. i agree with sblue0308, i've listened to too much phil and jack to mistake phil's style. 90% of the tunes here are phil. i think jack plays on the last darkstar jam i believe.

deadbase lists this show as:

"Mickey And The Hartbeats
10-30-68 The Matrix, San Francisco, Ca.
Dark Star Jam> Death Letter Blues, Other One> Lovelight, Jam> The Eleven> Death Don't, Jam*> Jam*, Prisoner Blues*, Clementine Jam, Dark Star Jam**
*with Elvin Bishop **with Jack Casady"

here's another killer garcia, casady, hart jam from Rancho Olompali 7-28-1968:
Reviewer: deadheaddave - favoritefavorite - March 18, 2007
Subject: Nah!
As Jerry says in the banter, they are just goofing here, and that is truly the case. This music doesn't go anywhere, just jamming. If you really listen critically it sounds like an amatuer garage band. Totally uninspired. It does have some ok blues stuff, but even thats pretty bad. Good recording though!

P.S. I thought I heard Jack at the beginning but the rest sounds like Lesh.
Reviewer: timmyhoover - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 28, 2006
Subject: It's definatly Phil
This shows in DeadBase folks.

It's an easy fact to check
Reviewer: deadieheady - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 23, 2006
Subject: Hmmm
This reallly sounds like its phil to me but its not up to me to say becasue i wasnt there, anyone around who was? anyone around who has this show on disc/tape? great great show
Reviewer: Lazy Lightning - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 18, 2006
Subject: Sorry Thats not Phil
Take a listen to Tha Matrix show on 10/10 and listen to that Dark Star next to this one, there are BIG differences. Yes they do sound similar and even used the same Basses around this time but thats Jack, no doubt about it
Reviewer: sblue0308 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 10, 2006
Subject: On Phil
I don't believe that is Jack Cassidy like the review below. I've heard to much Phil Lesh to know that "is" Phil Lesh playing and what a great job he did. One of the best shows I've heard out of this era to date. To bad we can't still download this stuff but have figured out how to still put this on analog. Just come off your headphone jack into the back of a separate recorder.
Reviewer: Victor A. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 4, 2006
Subject: Priceless
This should be put into one of those sealed capsules shot into space for aliens -- as an example of the strength and beauty of human intellect and spirit. Any way to legally download this?
Reviewer: Ssag - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 3, 2006
Subject: This show
I hate to break the news to you all but thats not the Dead and that is not Lesh on bass nor is Pig or Weir even there. Dec 1968 saw many musicians jamming at the Marty Balin's Matrix all monthlong. My best guess w/o hearing the entire show yet is its Mickey and the Hartbeats or Jerry and Friends. BTW thats Jack Cassidy on bass (no doubt there after hearing one note and song) and mostly likely Harvey Mandel,Spencer Dryden,Jerry Garcia and Micky Hart.

Okay I had time to confirm its Cassidy, Elvin Bishop, Garcia and Hart booked as Mickey and the Hartbeats. So all you folks need to apoligize to the best bassest out of San Fran......Mr Jack Cassidy :)
Reviewer: aboykin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2006
Subject: Jerry Garcia and Divinity
This may very well be proof that God exists.
Reviewer: Nate_lander - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 14, 2006
Subject: Please share the wealth
Holy smokes this is one hot recording. Phil is just amazing. As a bass player I think i could learn a lot from this. Deffinately need to get it on my i-tunes. If anyone can help me out getting a copy of this so i dont have to stream it every time it would be gratefully appretiated. If you can help me email me at
Reviewer: rshevlin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 13, 2006
Subject: Might not be the "Grateful Dead"
This certainly is great stuff... but might not be the Dead. lists this as Jerry Garcia & Friends. I got a tape of this years ago -- and it was listed as Mickey Hart & The Heartbeats.
Reviewer: buffalodead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 13, 2006
Subject: nice
this is great stuff!! Anybody have this on disc that would like to share? Email me at I would love to add to my collection!
Reviewer: inthenameofartbell - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 12, 2006
Subject: im freakin hooked on this show
i must listen to this twice a day. whenever i decided i liked the grateful dead, this is what i was hearing, whatever they were playing, this show is it.
Reviewer: familiarfan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2006
Subject: *(&&%%$$#^
This recently bought CD entitled Can You Pass The Acid Test? bellowed from my mother and father's house the day Jerry Garcia died?

My dad was home and enjoyed every bite of it even at one point be an educator of drug education!

Ahh! The great contradictions of life!
Reviewer: ReddyKillowatt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 19, 2005
Subject: Extremely Great Show
Phil was definetely playin' a smokin' bass that night. Very different feel than a lot of other dead shows being that Bobby and Pig was not in the band at that point, but that's what makes the playing so interesting because the stage presence is very unusual. You MUST download this for that fact, and the sound recording is EXCELLENT!
Reviewer: johnmundiejr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 28, 2005
Subject: Mickey and the Heartbeats
Yea, I've had this cassette for eons, this is when Bobby and Pig were fired; and the band did a show as Mickey and the Heartbeats.I think!
Reviewer: hyperboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 28, 2005
Subject: Sweet!
Amazing...just incredible. What a trio. I have to agree that Phil's playing is stellar this night. He is the leader. This is just such a rare show and a great addition to my collection. Thank you archive!

Sound quality is A+.
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 19, 2005
Subject: Phil is ON!

I agree with the reviews, but want to strongly emphasize that Phil is really ripping throughout this impromptu gig. In fact, it almost sounds like Mingus has somehow takin' over Phil's body. Good stuff.

For an example, check out Track #3 on Disc #3. You can hear Jerry say to the crowd (or the drummers): "Phil is hot!" (or something like that). Can anyone who downloads the SHN version more clearly pickup what Jerry says about Phil's playing? If so, post it up.

Oh yeah, one more this NOW!

Keep on keeping on.
Pete Larsen
Reviewer: outkast - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 22, 2005
Subject: do me suwopqitjh []o
In much agreance with the other folks comments, the sound is good, the fact that they dont have pig or bobby is reason enough to donload this show. not to say that it is good not to have them but, just the rareity factor is good enough.I think they sound damm good.and it is fun to think about what might have3 been.
Reviewer: redsox87 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 25, 2005
Subject: Silly, just plain silly!!
Are you kidding me?!! The sound qulity is a 10. The jams are mind blowing. Download now!! This site is starting to affect my job. You can't get enough of the Dark Stars on this one.
Reviewer: Darkstr56 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 29, 2005
Subject: 10/30/68
Complete an utterly UNREAL!!!
I had a copy of this on cassette, but it was not this complete, and had some generation hiss. Thanks to the uploader!!!
This is a must have for any Dea fan who really enjoys the jamming aspect of the music.
mind altering.

show: 4
quality: 4.5

I would have given the show a 5, but its not REALLY the Grateful Dead, w/o Bob, and Pig I cannot really consider it a GDead show. Other than that view, I have really liked this show for many years.

Reviewer: stolen face - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2005
Subject: Wow
A must have for any Deadhead. It's just Jerry, Phil and Bill on this one, and it's some great stuff. Jerry and Phil really fill the space nicely: Jerry and Phil just go off. If nothing else, just download for the interest factor: it's something pretty unique.
Reviewer: The Matrix - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 19, 2005
Subject: Must Have!
This has always been my number one show! This is one of the few recordings where most of the Dead (minus Pigpen and Bobby) really jam out each song in a spooky sort of way. Most of the songs have no words - Dark Star Jam, Other One Jam, Lovelight Jam, Eleven! I remember listening to this the first time with my eyes closed and I thought that I saw ghosts everywhere! I would recommend this to anyone with an open mind.
Reviewer: JoeCamel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 12, 2004
Subject: very nice indeed
good sound, and I think the second jam b4 the eleven jam is clementine jam.
Reviewer: gankmore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 14, 2004
Subject: sick
This might be my favorite pre 1970 recording. There's a real thoughfulness to the way in which the Bobby/Pigpen hole is filled at this show. I'm real glad things worked out the way they did, because I don't think any of these guys could have sustained this level of energy for 28 more years. But man, what a crazy ride this is!
info Stream Only
Stream playlist
( VBR )
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 6/25/2004
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 28,834
favorite 42
comment 31
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 31 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 12,655
favorite 31
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 4,831
favorite 13
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: 24 bit:sbd unknown gen reel, Jerry Moore's copy, transfer/seeded by Rob Berger
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 20,338
favorite 32
comment 11
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 11 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 7,325
favorite 7
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Source: Set 1: SBD>MC>DAT>CDR>WAV>SHN. Set 2: SBD>MC>DAT>CDR>WAV>SHN & AUD(Senn 441’s>Sony D-5)>MC>DAT>CDR>WAV>SHN
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 4,377
favorite 5
comment 7
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 7 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 36,335
favorite 45
comment 22
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 22 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 22,033
favorite 28
comment 17
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 17 reviews )
Source: primary: Pre-FM MR (1/2 track, 7.5 ips), Transfer: Revox PR99-MKIII > Panasonic SV3800 (48)/Sony 60ES > M-Audio Audiophile USB > CDWave > Goldwave (resample to 44.1 and edits) > CDwave > mkwACT, Primary source supplied by Josh Braveman
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 69,650
favorite 77
comment 24
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 24 reviews )
Source: Soundboard
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 56,488
favorite 127
comment 56
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 56 reviews )
Source: Soundboard